Thursday, June 9, 2011

Perpetuate Beautiful Days in Your Neighborhood

Although it was Mr. Fred Rogers who created the lyrics “It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,” it is Mr. Fred Hayman who deserves honors for his creation of the beautiful retailing neighborhood known as Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California.
     In 1964, when Mr. Hayman opened his shop, Rodeo Drive was a regular city street, with a grocer, a gas station, and a hardware store, not a coherent retailing corridor. Over succeeding years, Mr. Hayman produced what is now a team of merchants and a destination which draws shoppers and their money from throughout the world.
     Your retailing corridor might not include Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Hermes, Dior, Gucci, Prada, and Cartier outlets. Even if it could, they might lack compatibility with the store personality you want to project. Still, there are lessons to learn from Fred Hayman in how to create your own powerhouse neighborhood.
     For Mr. Hayman, the key was hospitality. He sharpened his skills while working at New York’s Waldorf Astoria and then California’s Beverly Hilton. When he opened Giorgio Beverly Hills on Rodeo Drive, he included an oak bar and pool table where men could enjoy themselves while the women in their lives shopped. Soon after he opened his store, he began a practice of offering browsers a glass of Champagne.
     As the district developed, Mr. Hayman formed a committee of the merchants to pay for benches and trees, plus staff to ensure the area was clean and safe. These days on Rodeo Drive, consumers with cameras, who prefer to take photos of shoppers rather than shop themselves, are still welcome. Browsers turn into customers, and in the meantime add the sort of excitement which gives brick-and-mortar stores an edge over online shopping.
     Encourage a good mix of stores in your retailing neighborhood so groups can spend time shopping together. Add amenities so prospective customers feel welcome.
     From the beginning, Mr. Hayman encouraged the Rodeo Drive stores to carry appealing merchandise and provide valuable services that would be difficult to find elsewhere. What can you sell in your store and retailing neighborhood that will draw shoppers from outside your commodity target markets? Distinctiveness gives a retailing corridor an identity consumers will recognize.
     And support your broader community. Mr. Hayman led the Rodeo Drive shopkeepers in contributing generously to the city’s police and fire departments, high school band, and community theater.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more:
Hobnob with Your Neighborhood Retailers
Monitor Your Community Involvement Payoffs

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